The Czech Republic’s year-on-year industrial production figures grew by 3.2 percent in May, 0.1 percent less than in the previous month, according to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Monday. The main drivers of growth were the automobile industry, as well as plastic and energy production. The country’s foreign trade surplus experienced a year-on-year rise of CZK 17.2 billion, reaching CZK 24.4 billion.
The turnover of Czech carmakers and spare parts manufacturers increased by
0.8 percent last year, to a record 1.1 billion crowns, the Czech Automotive
Association announced at a press conference on Thursday. Final sales
reached 617.5 billion crowns, up by 0.6 percent on 2017.
The growth rate slowed significantly compared to the previous year, when it rose by seven percent. According to the association chairman Bohdan Wojnar, the automotive industry likely reached its peak last year. He also said similar development is expected for 2019.
The recently appointed Czech minister of industry and trade, Karel
Havlíček, is in favour of lifting European Union sanctions against
Russia, Hospodářské noviny reported on Monday. Mr. Havlíček, who is an
ANO appointee, said at a recent meeting with the Russian ambassador to
Prague that the sanctions were harming the Czech Republic and ought to be
removed, the newspaper said, citing sources at the ministries of industry
and trade and foreign affairs.
The EU introduced the penalties in 2014 following Russian aggression toward Ukraine.
The minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, and the minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, told Hospodářské noviny that the Prague government continued to support them.
Czech state-run power group ČEZ has announced plans to sell its Bulgarian
assets to local investors Eurohold for 335 million euros, subject to
approval by regulatory authorities.
ČEZ entered the Bulgarian market in 2004. The prospective sale concerns seven of its local units.
Last February, a rumour that ČEZ might sell major Bulgarian assets to small firm called Inercom sparked protests over alleged corruption that led the Minister of Energy to resign.
Škoda Auto’s new SUV model Škoda Kamiq will be sold on the Czech market for 379,000 crowns, the Czech car manufacturer announced on Tuesday. The starting prize is around 10,000 crowns higher than the price of Škoda Scala model. The brand’s third and smallest SUV replaces Yeti, which was discontinued in 2017. It is expected to reach its first customers in September.
The German Central Bank has published a prediction on the country’s expected economic growth for 2019. It lowered its expectations from 1.6 percent to 0.6 percent. The Czech manufacturing sector is very dependent on German economic strength and Germany is also the Czech Republic’s largest trading partner. However, analysts questioned by the Czech News Agency say that changes in the forecast were expected and will not affect the Czech economy.
The exemption of the Czech coal power plant Chvaletice in north-east
Bohemia from EU norms would result in 196 premature deaths over a ten-year
period, suggests a report commissioned by the Czech branch of the
environmental organisation Greenpeace.
Under the new rules approved by EU member states, which will come into force in 2021, power plants in the EU will have to significantly cut the amount of pollutants. The company Sev.en Energy, which operates the Chvaletice power plant, has asked for an eight-year exemption from the norms, arguing that lowering emissions would require inadequate expenses.
Czech state-controlled power utility ČEZ reportedly plans to sell its
assets in Romania and Turkey, in addition to a previously reported plans to
divest from Bulgaria.
ČEZ chief Daniel Beneš said in an interview with the business daily Hospodářské noviny that the group is also considering selling some assets in Poland. In total, the Prague-listed company hopes to get tens of billions of crowns from the sales.
Shareholders in ČEZ, which is 70 percent owned by the state, would vote on the new strategy at the annual general meeting on June 26, he told the daily.
Proceeds would be used to construct renewable energy assets and new nuclear units as well as to the modernize ČEZ’s distribution network, he said.
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